The public agenda in Türkiye has been busy with three main topics last week.
The Turkish-Russian-Ukrainian joint grain corridor plan, which was agreed upon for the Black Sea on the initiatives from Türkiye, was the top subject on the agenda.
Secondly the terror attacks on Turkish diplomatic missions in Iraq have caused an outrage among the Turkish public.
And another issue was the meeting that is expected to take place between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, scheduled for August 5th in the southern Russian city of Sochi.
The opening of the Grain Corridor in the Black Sea
The Black Sea grain corridor project, which started upon an initiative from Türkiye and including a UN provision, was finally realized.
On July 22, with the presence of the Turkish President Erdogan, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, UN Secretary-General Guterres, Russian Defense Minister Shoigu and the Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov, an agreement was signed in Istanbul to ensure the safe transportation of agricultural products, and mainly grains that are produced in Russia and Ukraine, to the global markets through the Black Sea.
As a part of the agreement, Russia has pledged to lift the blockade for 120 days on the Ukrainian grain exports from the port of Odessa and some other integrated ports (ports of Pivdennyi and Chornomorsk), and to not carry out any military strikes on civilian ships and port facilities during this time period.
Under this agreement, sea mines at the entrance routes of the ports will be cleared to allow ships to enter and exit freely.
In addition to these, a Joint Coordination Center was established in Istanbul to ensure the coordination in the supervision of the maritime traffic and the implementation of the agreement.
Ukrainian ships entering and exiting the Black Sea will be inspected by delegations from Türkiye, the UN, Ukraine and Russia. This way, Ukrainian merchant vessels will be prevented to use this grain corridor for arms shipments.
In his speech at the agreement convention, President Erdogan stated that this agreement acts as a windpipe for the world and simply increases the hopes for an end to this war.
The UN Secretary-General Guterres described this agreement as a beacon of hope in the Black Sea and thanked President Erdogan for his steadfast efforts.
And a White House statement stressed the need to swiftly implement the deal so that the most impoverished regions of the world do not fall into worse hardships or food crises.
Terror attacks on Turkish diplomatic missions in Iraq
Tensions rose between Türkiye and Iraq after the statements blaming the Turkish Armed Forces from Iraqi authorities, following the PKK terrorist organization’s attack on civilians in Northern Iraq.
In the statements made by the Turkish authorities after the attacks over the Duhok region, it was released that it is unacceptable to make such statements that put Türkiye under suspicion after an attack by the PKK terrorist organization.
Demonstrations were held in front of Türkiye’s diplomatic missions in Najaf region after the provocations in Duhok, while rocket attacks were carried out near the Turkish consulate building in Mosul.
It was reported that unmanned air drones attacked the Turkish military bases in Duhok.
In a statement, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the attacks on the Mosul Consulate building said; “An attack took place on the Consulate General of Türkiye in Mosul in the morning hours of 27 July. We condemn this attack, in which no casualties were reported, in the strongest terms and expect those responsible to be brought to justice as soon as possible. We firmly request from the Iraqi authorities to fulfill their responsibilities in protecting diplomatic and consular missions.”
Experts pointed out that the attacks aimed at getting Türkiye and Iraq against each other, immediately after the decisions to revive the Astana process between Türkiye-Russia-Iran. Others argued that another purpose of the provocations is to disrupt Türkiye’s operations against the PKK elements in the Northern Syria.
The Erdogan-Putin diplomatic meeting in Sochi
Turkish President Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Putin is expected to meet in the southern Russian city of Sochi, on August 5th.
During the meeting in Sochi, the issue of the grain corridor created in the Black Sea is expected to be discussed, as well as the latest situation in Ukraine, the latest developments in Syria and Iraq.
Erdogan and Putin are also likely to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries, especially in the areas of trade and tourism. There are reports that new areas of cooperation in the military sectors are going to be discussed as well.
Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was asked about military cooperation between the two countries. Peskov said: “Military-technical cooperation between the two countries is constantly on the agenda. The very fact that our interaction is developing in such a sensitive area indicates that, in general, the whole range of our relations is at a very high level.”
Peskov also reported that military-technical cooperation between the two countries will be discussed at the meeting in Sochi on August 5th.
President Erdogan, in his recent statement, said that Russia and the United Arab Emirates made offers to work together with the Turkish defense company Baykar Industries.
Erdogan stated “Putin said, ‘Let us work together with Baykar Industries’. The UAE also offered to open a Baykar factory there.”
Erdogan and Putin held a bilateral meeting in Tehran on July 19th for the “Seventh Trilateral Summit Meeting in Astana Format.”